Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cambodia's PM 'ready to talk to opposition' after poll

Cambodia's long-serving leader, Hun Sen, has said his party is ready to talk to the opposition after both sides claimed victory in Sunday's general election, talking of the need for compromise but calling himself "prime minister elect".

"We open our heart to compromise in order to create a parliamentary leadership," Mr Hun said while on an inspection of a bridge construction site, his first public appearance since the election.

"We have to respect the people's decision and if we don't, and turn to violence that would lead to chaos in the whole country and this is not what people want to see," he said.

The election campaign and voting on Sunday were largely peaceful but Phnom Penh remains tense due to the political stand-off.

Police and the military are maintaining a presence on the streets, although business is mostly back to normal.
Mr Hun, 60, has been prime minister for 28 years and has crushed dissent in the past while maintaining tight control through his Cambodian People's Party (CPP) and a network of business, government and military allies.

Earlier yesterday, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), said it had won the general election, stepping up its battle with Mr Hun's CPP, which has also claimed victory and rejected accusations of electoral fraud.

The National Election Committee has yet to release official results.

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